"This is important work ... Forty years ago, we stopped producing any
more documentary information... we can only tell anecdotal stories which
get more and more mythical. But now the younger generation is taking
over. And I see our scholarship is now in good hands."
"A clear conception of our country's history is one of the basic conditions
for building genuinely democratic self-awareness in our society .... I
am happy that the co-operation between the National Security Archive in
Washington and the Czech foundation, Prague Spring 1968, has resulted in
this voluminous collection of documents, which, I hope, will lead American
readers to a closer understanding of the dramatic events that the then-Czechoslovakia
lived through three decades ago."
"I hope your conference will generate not only new insights, but further
cooperative research projects. That would be a material contribution
to the renewal of a civil society in the Czech lands and elsewhere.
Serious joint scholarship in search of international truth is one of the
cornerstones of that civil society. An enviable task awaits you.
I wish you success."
"I researched and wrote this book while a visiting fellow at the National
Security Archive in Washington. I cannot imagine a better home.
The archive provided me with what every writer needs -- a stimulating atmosphere,
creative and helpful colleagues, research assistance (especially with Freedom
of Information Act requests), and a spirited, if not always triumphant,
"The conference organized by the National Security Archive at George
Washington University, a group that focuses on encouraging governments
around the world to open their archives, addressed the varying degrees
of access that scholars now have to the gold mine of cold war information
that lies in the archives of the former Communist bloc."
"Now, forty years later, scholars and survivors assemble in the handsome
rooms of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, its high windows looking across
the Danube from naughty Pest to haughty Buda. Inside, it looks like
just another academic conference.... Yet in Budapest the witnesses have
survived not just, say, too many good dinners at the Carlton Club in London,
but a death sentence commuted at the last minute to fourteen years in prison.
So the occasion is not ordinary at all.... this dramatic confrontation
of documents and memories, of written and oral history...."
"In the last several years, the National Security Archive and the Cold
War International History Project, two not-for-profit groups in Washington,
have been pressing governments, from Japan to Guatemala to Romania, to
open up their archives to historians.... At a gathering last weekend
of political scientists and Hungarians and Americans involved in the stormy
[Hungarian] events of 40 years ago, delicious and surprising new findings
"The documentation provided in the [conference] briefing book is
extraordinarily good ... [and is] invaluable in the classroom. The
documentation is so recent, it is where diplomatic history meets
contemporary public policy ... This makes the teaching of diplomacy come
to life in ways that would have been hard to imagine a few years